Murray, John (1729-1774) (DNB00)

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MURRAY, JOHN, third Duke of Atholl (1729–1774), eldest son of Lord George Murray [q. v.], by his wife Amelia, only surviving child and heiress of James Murray of Glencarse and Strowan, was born 6 May 1729. For some time he was captain in a company of Lord Loudoun's regiment of foot, afterwards the 54th. At the general election of 1761 he was chosen member of parliament for Perth. On the death of his uncle James, second duke of Atholl, 8 Jan. 1764, Murray, who, besides being nearest male heir, had married Lady Charlotte Murray, the duke's only surviving child, laid claim to the dukedom of Atholl. As, however, his father, Lord George Murray, had been forfeited, he deemed it advisable to petition the king that his claim to the dukedom might be allowed. The petition was referred by the king to the House of Lords, who on 7 Feb. 1764 resolved that he had a right to the title. His wife, on the death of her father, the second duke, succeeded to the sovereignty of the Isle of Man, and to the ancient English barony of Strange, of Knockyn, Wotton, Mohun, Burnel, Basset, and Lacy. For some time negotiations had been in progress with the English government for the union of the sovereignty to the English crown; and in 1765 an act of parliament was passed to give effect to a contract between the lords of the treasury and the Duke and Duchess of- Atholl for the purchase of the sovereignty of Man and its dependencies for 70,000l., the duke and duchess retaining their manorial rights, the patronage of the bishopric and other ecclesiastical benefices, the fisheries, minerals, &c. The arrangement rendered them very unpopular in Man, and the 42nd, or Black Watch, under Lord John Murray, had to be stationed in the island to maintain order. The money received by the duke and duchess was directed to be laid out and invested in the purchase of lands of inheritance in Scotland, to be inalienably entailed on a certain series of heirs. The duke and duchess had also a grant of an annuity of 2,000l. for their lives.

Atholl was chosen a representative peer in succession to the Earl of Sutherland, who died 21 Aug. 1764, and he was rechosen in 1768. In 1767 he was invested with the order of the Thistle. He died at Dunkeld on 5 Nov. 1774. By Lady Charlotte Murray he had seven sons and four daughters : John, fourth duke of Atholl, who in 1786 was created Earl Strange and Baron Murray of Stanley in the United Kingdom, and was the author of ' Observations on Larch,' London, 1810; Lord James Murray; George, died an infant; Lord George [q. v.], who became bishop of St. Davids; Lord William; Lord Henry; Lord Charles, dean of Bocking, Essex; Lady Charlotte, died unmarried; Lady Amelia, married first to Thomas Ivie Cooke, an officer of the army, and secondly to Sir Richard Gamon of Minchenden, Middlesex; Jane, to John Groset Muirhead of Breachesholm, Lanarkshire; and Mary, to the Rev. George Martin.

[Train's History of the Isle of Man; Douglas's Scottish Peerage (Wood), i. 153.]

T. F. H.